Konerko: Drug policy levels playing field

January, 26, 2013
1/26/13
8:10
PM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
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The new drug testing policy, which includes taking blood samples for major league players after baseball contests, is a good thing, according to White Sox veteran Paul Konerko.

The 36-year-old first baseman has long been a proponent of cleaning up the game and rewarding the players who do things the right way on and off the field.

“This is just about the right progression," Konerko said during SoxFest in Chicago. "As soon as there was testing there was going to be testing as soon as the science was up to doing it. This should be the way to test because now that the science is there, you can test guys from all angles and test for everything you want to test for."


Major League Baseball will be the first team sport in Northern America to test for human growth hormone by comparing a player's stored blood sample to a live sample. The blood is drawn immediately after a player performs in a game or has had excess activity in warmups.

“I don’t have a problem having blood drawn, Konerko said. “I can see that might be the issue for some guys. Some guys if they get blood drawn in the afternoon, they are done for the day -- they are a mess. As for me I have never had a problem giving blood. The issue about how it is done will have to be figured out."

Konerko was one of the first players to advance the idea that players should be tested for steroid use. He was one of the first proponents to support collective testing back in 2003, when baseball first tested all 1,200 players on the 30 clubs rosters in spring training.

“I personally think it is pretty level now," he said. “I think everyone is so scared straight by it all. I believe the game is level and even right now. At this point I don’t think any players look around at other guys and say, 'that guy is doing something.' Most guys are even scared to take a drink of something if they don’t know where it came from. I think that is all behind us now."

Bruce Levine | email

Chicago baseball beat reporter
Bruce Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.

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